Are you having back pain with any of the following?
We understand that you are experiencing one or more of the health issues that might be impacting your back pain.
We recommend that you discuss these health issues with your doctor before proceeding with this program.
Once you are cleared by your doctor to do this program, we hope it helps you find relief from your back pain.
Genes, Environment and Health
Mar 01, 2012
How do genes and the environment interact to affect health? The HUGE Project will analyze genetic information from hundreds of thousands of Kaiser Permanente members to answer this question.
Most common diseases are complex and are influenced by multiple genes interacting together and with environmental factors. This is true for cancer, heart disease and stroke, diabetes, asthma and other lung conditions, autoimmune disorders, Alzheimer's and other neurological disorders, mental health diseases and chemical dependency, pregnancy and reproductive disorders, and even infectious diseases like hepatitis.
Scientists believe that recent increases in many common chronic diseases are due to changes in the environment and our lifestyles. However, not everyone responds to these changes in the same way. Some individuals are much more vulnerable to changes than others, and small differences in individual genetic factors may be responsible.
Genes can contribute to risk or they can be protective
In some cases, an individual gene may contribute only a small risk to a particular disease, but when certain genes interact — together or with specific environmental conditions — the risk may become much larger. Other genes may be protective, and when they interact with the right gene(s) or environmental factor(s), they may reduce a person’s risk of certain diseases.
Sampling for environmental factors: How you can participate in this program
To be eligible for participation in this research program, you need to be a member of Kaiser Permanente in the Northern California region and be 18 years of age or older. Participation in the program requires 3 steps:
• Review and sign a consent form, which ensures that you understand what it means to participate in the research program.
• Provide a blood or saliva sample. We will extract DNA from your sample, and, when it is needed for a research project on a specific disease or condition, we will assess your DNA for genetic information.
• Take a health survey, which asks for information on your health, your environment, and health-related behaviors such as smoking and diet.
Once you have completed these steps, information about you will be combined with information from your Kaiser Permanente electronic medical record and joined with information of hundreds of thousands of other Kaiser Permanente members who have chosen to participate in the research program. All of this information will be stored with survey data and information on health conditions. Scientists will use this information to study how genes and environment interact to affect various health outcomes.
Sampling for environmental factors
We are obtaining environmental data from the following sources:
• Measurements from participant blood samples
• Participant responses to the RPGEH Health Survey and other surveys that may be done
• Air quality and other geographically based environmental measurements that can be linked to the neighborhoods where participants live and/or work
DNA samples used for analysis only
This research does not involve cloning, stem cell research, gene therapy, or genetic engineering. The use of DNA samples will be restricted to analysis. Genetic material will not be altered.
For more information and to sign up for the research program, visit our site at Kaiser Permanente’s Division of Research.
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